The application process is all electronic. Visit the Applying and admissions section for detailed instructions on how to submit an online application and how to upload required supporting documents.

Application Deadlines

Candidates must submit a complete application by the application deadline date to be considered for admission. It is the applicant's responsability to ensure their application file is complete and all supporting documents are uploaded by the deadline date. The department does not guarantee that applications completed after the indicated date will be considered for review. 

Please note that the Department only admits new students in the Fall term. Applications for the Winter or Summer terms are not accepted. It is important that you select the correct term when completing the application form. Note that a change of the application term is not permitted and the application fee is non-refundable.

Application Deadline Dates

Canadian/Permanent Resident
Fall January 15 January 15
Winter No Admission
Summer No Admission

Note: Official documents submitted to McGill University when an admission offer has been extended, including, but not limited to transcripts, diplomas, test scores, etc., become the property of McGill University and will not be returned to the applicant/student or forwarded to another institution under any circumstance.

Supporting documents

  • University transcripts
  • Letters of reference
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • English Proficiency and GRE
  • Application fee

 Other information

  • Entrance requirements
  • Admission policy
  • International Students
  • Housing

All application materials and supporting documents must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system. See for information and instructions on how to upload documents. Hard copies of these documents should not be mailed to the admission office or department; all supporting documents must be uploaded.

Application fee

A non-refundable application fee of around $126.00 in Canadian funds is required. Applicants must apply online and pay by credit card.

Transcripts of all university degrees and degree certificates

  • A copy of all university degrees completed and in progress must be uploaded. Uploaded copies are considered unofficial.
  • If the transcript does not indicate that a degree has been conferred, a copy of the degree certificate (diploma) is also required.
  • An explanation of the institution grading scale must also be provided with the transcript.
  • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript or by a certified translator.
  • It is desirable to submit a list of the titles of courses taken in the major subjects, as some transcripts often give code numbers only.
  • Final and official copies of transcript and proof of degree will only be required once an offer of admission is extended.

NOTE: Students graduating or who have graduated from McGill University need not submit a McGill transcript - their McGill transcript is available via Minerva.

Letters of reference

The name, coordinates and email address of two referees who are familiar with your academic work must be provided on the online application. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload reference letters on your behalf. You will be notified if a referee declines to submit a reference letter, and you will have to provide coordinates of a new referee. This section is entirely managed by the applicant and you can modify and replace the referees' information.

Curriculum Vitae

Please provide a current resume listing education, research and work experience, publications, and other pertinent information.

Personal statement

In one or two pages, briefly describe your background, your past work, your qualifications, your expectations and career plan for applying to graduate studies in biotechnology at McGill. 

English Proficiency and GRE

All applicants whose first language is not English and who did not graduate from a Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), who did not complete an undergraduate or graduate degree at a foreign institution where English was the language of instruction, are required to submit proof of competency in oral and written English.

Please consult the following link to learn more about the policy and exemptions - some countries are exempt to provide an English proficiency test scores. The original score report must be submitted electronically by the agency directly to McGill University.

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum acceptable scores are: iBT 90 overall with a minimum of 20 points in each four sections (internet based test).
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module)
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): a mark of 85% or higher
  • University of Cambridge ESOL Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): a grade of “B” (Good) or higher
  • University of Cambridge ESOL Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): a grade of “C” (Pass) or higher
  • Edexcel London Test of English – Level 4 – with an overall grade of at least “Merit Pass”
  • Edexcel London Test of English – Level 5 – with an overall grade of at least “Pass”
  • McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English or McGill Certificate of Proficiency – English for Professional Communication: Certificate of Proficiency awarded.

In each case, you must ensure that the official test results are sent electronically to McGill (Institution Code: 0935) by the testing service.

Note that test scores older than two years old will not be accepted by McGill University.

GRE scores
GRE score is not required for admission but can still be submitted at the discretion of the applicant.

Other information

Entrance requirements

  • Master's Applied
  • Prerequisites

Master's Applied

  • You must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences or closely related fields.
  • A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.2 out of 4.0 or its equivalent. For certain international institutions this is equivalent to a First Class Division overall standing. International degree equivalency required by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office for certain countries is available at the following link.
  • Advanced knowledge in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology prior to applying to the program is necessary. It is strongly suggested to enclose information on these specific requirements (e.g. course outlines or descriptions) so the background can be properly assessed.
    NOTE: Knowledge in molecular biology must be recent, not more than around five years old.


    Students are required to have sufficient background in the fields of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology to be admitted in the Master's (Applied) program. The following prerequisite courses or their equivalent must have been completed prior to application.

    • Master's Applied
      Advanced knowledge in biochemistry of macromolecules covering proteins and nucleic acids biochemistry, carbohydrate, lipid, enzymology, bioenergetics and intermediary metabolism. Introductory course will not be sufficient.
      Equivalent course at McGill: BIOC 312 - Biochemistry of Macromolecules .

      Molecular/Cellular biology
      Sufficient background in Cellular Biology and advanced knowledge in Molecular Biology covering the structure of cells and cell organelles; organization and replication of DNA and regulation of cell division; transcription, protein synthesis and transport of proteins within the cell. An introductory course in molecular biology will not be sufficient.
      Equivalent courses at McGill: BIOL 300 - Molecular Biology of the Gene ; or ANSC 400 - Eukaryotic Cells and Viruses .

      Other Biology courses
      More advanced level courses in molecular/cellular biology, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology or pharmacology would be an advantage.

    Missing prerequisites

    The department may consider you are missing the necessary prerequisites/background for the biotech program, and would suggest to complete some courses to increase your chances of being competitive for admission. Successful completion of these courses do not guarantee admission to the graduate program once you submit an application. These courses may be taken at McGill (or any other university of your choice) by applying and registering as an Undergraduate Special Student.
    General info:
    Email: studentinfo.macdonald [at]

    Admission Policy

    Only complete online applications with all supporting documents received by the application deadline date will be reviewed by the Departmental Admissions Committee. Review of applications completed after the deadline date is at the discretion of the department. Since these graduate programs have limited enrolment and entrance is competitive, submission of an early application is always a good choice. It is the responsability of the applicant to ensure that all supporting documents have been uploaded on the system by the deadline date. Applicants can check the status of their application and verify that all supporting documents have been received. The department only recommends admission of an applicant to Enrolment Services - Graduate Studies Admissions, the final decision is issued by them. The official letter of admission from the McGill Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is posted once and offer has been extended. Applicants can check the status of their file online on the system throughout the entire review process.

    After Admission

    Once an offer has been extended a good place to get information on McGill and what to do next, in addition to the information provided on the letter of offer, is this web link:

    International Students

    Once an offer has been extended to an international student, a good start is the Pre-arrival section of the International Student Services (ISS), and the webinars offered. ISS also offers very usefull information to internationals whether they are prospective or current students. International students must obtain specific authorization to immigrate to Canada/Quebec to undertake their graduate study program. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will provide immigration information details in the official notification of acceptance. Please note that ALL international students, must apply for a student visa. Non-Canadians must obtain permission to study from the governments of Quebec and Canada. Immigration Quebec issues the Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ), and Citizenship and Immigration Canada issues the Study Permit. You will find detailed information on the immigration process on the International Student Services website.

    Depending on what part of the world you are from, it may take up to eight months to complete the immigration/visa process. Therefore, an application should be started as soon as you receive the official letter of admission by McGill. McGill does not issue any immigration documents. Immigration Quebec and Canada will want to know the following:

    1. That you have a valid status in your own country - valid passport;

    2. That you have met the conditions of admission to the university - the official letter of admission by McGill;

    3. How your academic and living expenses will be covered in Canada - details on funding sources, amounts of money required and for what period of time.


    Students needing living accommodation on either campuses, should contact the Residence and Housing Services. Both campuses offer affordable and comfortable residences. McGill also offers an off-campus housing services for students who prefer private accommodations.

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